My Personal Soap Box; Politics

I have long claimed that I am an equal opportunity when it comes to politics. I really do hate them all. If it is a politician, I, most likely, hate it. I think my dislike comes from the likelihood that, if their lips are moving, they are lying. I truly hate liers.

Most of my votes have been cast against a politician. If I had been able to vote, I would have voted for Apadoca in the Governor's race. That would have been a mistake. He turned out to be bought and paid-for like the rest of them. The very next year, when I could vote, I voted against Little Joe Montoya. He was an arrogant ass. My history of voting has continued, except for the times I just couldn't stomach voting at all.

Today, the midterm elections are looming. I am so sick of the TV advertisements. Governor Martinez and the Republican Governor's Association has attacked Gary King with venom and glee. Martinez is so far ahead n the polls, I don't think she has anything to worry about, yet the attacks continue. She has demonstrated to me, that she is a complete and total arrogant bitch. Not only do her negative adds piss me off, but the positive adds contain half-truths. She listens to teachers. Personally, I don't know of any teachers she has listened to. She has ignored the union. 30,000 private sector jobs created? I wonder how many private sector jobs we have lost at the same time. Our economy in New Mexico certainly sucks.

Udall has never impressed me, but Weh scares the crap out of me. He is all Republican, and spewing all of the ideology that I find too far to the right. Udall, is a Democrat and, well, ugh. He is against firearm ownership and all of that other Democratic ideology that I don't care for.

Okay, so where do I stand? I bounce around a bit. I am pro firearm ownership. I believe owning a semi-automatic assault-style rifle is an okay thing. I am pissed at everyone who refers to the semi-automatic rifles as assault weapons. The fully-automatic versions are assault weapons, NOT the semi-automatic versions. Morons. With all of that said, I do believe that something needs to change. Universal background checks don't sound too onerous to me. I would like to limit them a bit. I think it is stupid to fill out one form per firearm when someone inherits or purchases a collection. A single form should be all that is necessary. Also, in the case of inheritance, if the recipient cannot pass the background check, something needs to be included to allow the sale, or donation of the firearms. The should not be confiscated and destroyed. I could also tolerate a law that requires firearms be locked up, when they are not under the direct control of the owner/operator. Sitting on a table, or hidden in a closet shouldn't count as locked up. Also, I think some sort of minimal training should be required. I'm getting tired of hearing about the person shooting the firearm because they didn't know how to un-cock it any other way. I don't think that the government should administer the training program. First, they don't have a clue and, second, they would keep records of the training, identifying probably firearm owners. The NRA would be an excellent provider of such a program.

Taxes. For a long time I was a proponent of a flat income tax. I am ever so slowly coming to believe in a progressive income tax. I do not believe in a regressive income tax, which we effectively have today. Warren Buffet has pointed out that his effective tax rate is lower than his secretary's effective tax rate because of loopholes in the tax code. That needs to be fixed. If you come from a pain-based metric for taxes, then a progressive tax makes sense. The CEOs pulling down $15 million a year won't “feel” the tax as much as someone trying to live on $30k per year. Currently, I would like to see the abolishment of all loopholes, including the mortgage interest loophole that I enjoy today. Why should the government pay for part of my loan? Why should we subsidize the oil industry, who makes a shit-load of money? I do like the current trend in the farm bill. I guess that farmers now have something that looks more like insurance if their crops fail. I would also like to see the National Highway Fund supported by a fuel tax that is tied to inflation and some metric of fuel mileage. As our vehicle's fuel mileage has improved the dollars-per-vehicle-mile-driven have decreased, which has resulted in the underfunding of the highway fund over time. Also, some way needs to be developed to tax the use of all electric vehicles. They don't support road maintenance. I could also support some sort of national sales tax, that excludes food, medicine, medical supplies and services and, perhaps clothing. The idea is that, if you can afford that which you don't need, then you can afford the tax. Much of the crap we purchase is really a luxury. You really don't need the latest and greatest iPhone. And, most importantly, we NEED TO PAY FOR WHAT WE RECEIVE!!! If we want a strong military, we need to pay for it. If we wage war, we need to pay for it! If we want good roads, with safe bridges, we need to pay for it. If we want to help folks after disasters, we need to pay for it. If we want universal health care, we need to pay for it. If we want Social Security, we need to pay for it. If we want Medicare, we need to pay for it. Today, we are not paying for what we are getting.

Social Security and Medicare are particularly annoying to me. Actually, the way our government has ignored the looming underfunding of these programs really pisses me off. It has been known for some 60, or 70 years that the programs would be severely stressed when the “baby boomers” retired. Each and every year, our wonderfully short-sighted government choose to ignore this know fact. Each and every year, our government decided to kick the problem down-stream. Now the disaster is 5, or so years down the way and they are still not willing to pay for the program. The Republicans want to cut benefits that we nominally paid for. WTF? Promises made are not to be kept by our government.

Medicare is another sore point. To control the horrible increase in health costs of the elderly, the solution seems to be cut the monies paid to health providers. Our beloved government has already cut what doctors are paid to the point that and increasing number are electing to not treat Medicare patients. Hey, that sounds like a great idea. Let us save money by effectively denying service to people who nominally paid for the program and were promised care as they aged. Gee thanks.

Now for immigration. We seem to have a problem with U.S. citizens wanting to take the really crappy jobs of harvesting our crops, etc. We seem to need the illegal aliens to work for our cheap-ass, lazy, entitled society. However, I have some concerns about the government subsidizing the industries that employ these illegal aliens. We have been and are providing health care and education to these families. Many say that the health care provisions have arrived with Obamacare. That just ain't the case. Hospitals have, for a very long time, provided care to people who cannot pay. Now the government is paying through Obama care. I don't find that a huge difference. I have to clue when we started educating illegal aliens in our schools. Personally, I don't really think I give a crap about the presence of illegal aliens, but I do have a problem with subsidizing their lives in our country.

My final rant of the day. Public education. I'm afraid that I'm a socialist on this subject. I strongly believe in “free” public education for all of our legal citizens. I know it ain't free. However, I do think it is important for our government to pay for education through whatever cost sharing is necessary. We all seem to agree that our kids are a bunch of ignorant idiots when compared to other countries' kids. We claim that we are horrified at this, but we are unwilling to pay the price to fix the problem. It is my belief that all educators that actually work in the classroom should be paid, at least, double what they are being paid today. Perhaps, then, teaching would attract the best and brightest people to educate out kids. Oops I let a capitalistic idea enter my argument. I do not, under any circumstances, remotely, believe that school vouchers should be any part of education. Those would take funding away from public schools. I am all for freedom of choice, but, if you wanna choose a private school, then y'all can pay extra for it. Now for the real kicker. I would like to see higher education (yes, college) be free to our citizens who would qualify to attend. Previous academic success is a good measure of a student's success in college. Good ACT and/or SAT scores are also an indication of future educational performance. In short, a wealthy moron should not get to attend college and a poor genius should not be denied an education. This idea would radically change the trend of the last several years of the government reducing funding for higher education. Students are sharing more, and more of the burden of paying for their education, resulting in only the wealthy finishing their education without debt. Again, our society complains about our country not competing in the world and yet we don't want to do anything about it. Yes, I am a socialist on this subject and I do not apologize for my views.

In 2015, the horror of the fast approaching 2016 elections has arrived. I am not sure what I am going to do. I don't like Hillary Clinton in the least. She is a bitch. Bernie Sanders is looking interesting, but he doesn't have the machine and wealthy donors that Ms. Clinton has. That is one of the things I like about him. He doesn't seem to owe as many people. The Republican field has me terrified. Republicans, in general, have me more than scared. Donald Trump is currently a front runner with his bigoted, prejudiced, misogynistic, illogical and stupid verbiage. He also refused to admit any mistake. If he becomes President, I may have to investigate Canada. The other GOP candidates are better, but not much. They all want to balance the budget by cuts alone and not any tax increase. Personally, I think that is beyond stupid. And the Christian influence goes against the first amendment of the CONUS. They demand a return to the Constitution from Obama's treatment of it and I am convinced they have not actually read the document. I fear a GOP lead government, at this point in time.